Sunday, December 31, 2006

No Resolutions

I am writing early today as I plan on making the most out of the last day of the year. I don't make resolutions because I see no sense in the guilt that comes from breaking them. I do, however, have goals or mantras for my life, and the New Year is a good time to take a look at what is working, what isn't, and what my focus will be for the future.

I promise myself that I will live a life full of sensuality. I will surround myself with things that make me feel wonderful; music, scents, friends, food, art, literature, long walks or hikes, adventure, travel. I will think prosperity rather than how I am going to pay the next bill. I will treat my body with love and respect, because "if I don't take care of my body, where else am I going to live?". (one of the best quotes I have seen on our firehouse sign). I will focus on what I did do, rather on what I didn't. I will love and respect every human being to the extent of my ability. I will be true to myself. Perhaps one of my hardest lessons is going to be learning how to breathe and accept what life has presented me with and make the most of it. A friend said recently that I have the uncanny ability to make lemon meringue out of the lemons that I have been handed; may that ability stay with me even in the darkest of hours.

This year I face new challenges. Two sick children; one mentally ill, the other has cancer. A grandchild who needs a lot of love, security and stability. There are others in my life who need me on many different levels too and I will keep myself strong and take care of myself first so that I can take care of others.

I believe that love and understanding of self and of others as well as the connection with a divine essence will be the key to peace in our lives and in the world. May I love with a pure heart.

I am grateful for another year and for those in my life. Each person and event serves a purpose and I embrace them all and will learn from each lesson. I am grateful for you, my readers, as you are part of my life force. May your New Year be blessed too.

I am going to work on my art today, and spend the day in solitude and quiet, surrounded by good music. My studio smells heavenly (thanks Ruben for the gift) and I will burn some sage to chase out the remnants of self-doubt. Later tonight, as you are reading this, I will be dancing out the demons of the old year and rejoicing in the new.

Love to you all, Patti

The painting is one I started today. Needs some more work, but thought I would post it here in celebration of the New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Garden is Sleeping

The title of tonight's blog was inspired by Alanna who looked out the window into the dark garden and turned to me and said "Mimi, the garden is sleeping!" I thought that this little two year old had made such a profound observation of the landscape. Though there is not snow yet (this photo was taken last year sometime in my garden) the garden is indeed sleeping. We should take our cues from the garden and the animals and hibernate for the winter, instead of traveling about in the cold and snow like a bunch of insane people. I for one would rather hibernate all winter in front of the fireplace and in my studio (which I keep very warm and cozy) and dream........

I had a house full of family for 8 hours today and I survived it. Somewhere between Christmas and New Year I host the yearly family get together. My sister and her family come from Westchester, my brother and his wife from the Boston area. My mother won't leave the nursing home anymore, and since I am the oldest and centrally located, I carry on family tradition here. It is with mixed emotion that I do it. One brother is very sick and does not come (which is difficult as he is sick by choice), and I have not seen my son this holiday season yet. I fear he is not well on many levels. My parents are either dead or very disabled. I get very stressed before they arrive. Other friends of mine suffer similar fates; the holidays can be a stew of sadness, loss, loneliness, joy, celebration, and love, all wrapped into one big ball of emotional twine.

I have poured myself the end of one of the bottles of wine but it is not enough to relax me before bed. I drank very little as I had to be on all day. I am toying with opening the Patron, but I am not sure tequila will mix with the wine very well.

I have decided to open more wine. I sit here sipping it, brows furrowed, and have locked myself behind the French door in my sun room where the computer is. I cannot write with Larry milling around, and have kicked him out as he keeps coming in and out and trying to talk to me. My writing and art time is very sacred to me, and I dislike anyone being in my space when I am creating.

David Darling is playing his cello in the background, a quiet sad tune slips under the door into my room. I sit back in my chair and stare at the screen trying to find words to describe my emptiness. All I keep hearing is "the garden is sleeping" and I too want to be dormant until the warm sun returns to warm the earth again. I try to envision the sun enveloping my body and filling me with warmth and light. I cannot do it. I wish I had lit a fire; I would take a blanket and lay in front of it, baking in the heat and the light.

I will settle for the bed. The timer has turned off the lights in the room leaving me in the dark.

The garden is sleeping.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Sense of Smell

I've been told that I should have hired myself out to the FBI as my sense of smell is so keen. I weird out my students and my family as I casually smell my art supplies and other things that pass through my hands. I don't smell everything, I am not that compulsive, but there are certain things that can't get by me without a quick sniff.

I can trace my obsession with smell back to Christmas around 1962. I had a large box of 64 crayons (or close to that number) given to me with a few coloring books for Christmas. I loved anything art related, even back then, and I opened my gifts and stuck my nose into them, inhaling the smell of new crayons (Crayola of course--no store brands in this house in the crayon purchases!) and the smell of new, clean printed paper. I was in heaven. A year or so later I got a box of Venus Paradise colored pencils and some color by number boards, and I immediately stuck my nose into them. Ah......

So you KNOW what happens when I open up my art supply cabinets to prepare or hand out art supplies to the kids. YEP. A big deep whiff. How do I explain to them that it transports me back to a time when everything was magic and innocence?

I shared a bedroom with my brother till I was 12 (not a good thing to have your kids do---) and I remember a very foul odor in the room. I could not stand it. I sniffed it out and found it before my parents could find it. It was a rotten liverwurst sandwhich covered in mold that I pulled out of his book bag. It was a long time before I could eat liverwurst again, and even so, I can't help but have flashbacks to the horror of the rotten sandwich.

Sometimes a keen sense of smell is not a great thing to have. When I was a teenager and went into the city, I sat next to a bum who smelled of urine. I could not get the smell out of my nose for months.

Then there was the goat adventure, where I had to help capture my landlord's goat to tie him back up (he eventually got shot cause he attacked me and my car but that is for another story..). Have YOU ever smelled a goat close up or had the smell of goat on YOUR hands? It was forever before I could get rid of the smell; I still don't know if it was because it was still there, or if it was in my head.

A certain amount of body sweat is a fabulous smell, but don't come near me if you haven't had a showered in 2 days and not changed your clothes! I work with some kids who don't have good hygiene, and I wonder, what the hell makes THAT smell come from?!!!!! OY!

Smell plays a very big part in my every day life. I have wonderful French perfumes, and stunning oils from Aveda, magical and sensuous oil mixes from the Far and Middle East. I use them in my creams, my bath, as perfume, in diffusers.

A fabulous read, which after many years is being made into a movie, is DAS PERFUME or PERFUME by Patrick Suskind. If you like a good historical read (13th c. Paris I believe) that is poetic, visual, and captivating, then get yourself a copy. And the end will blow your mind. I have 2 or 3 copies of the book. And you KNOW who is going to see that when it comes out...anyone else game?

Quick note-Went to Upstate to see Volver last night. Delightful black comedy in Spanish, with Penelope Cruz who is delectible in this movie. Has that wonderful Latino mysticism in it, mixed with murder and mayhem.

And the artwork is layered paper pulp, antique images, netting etc. I did a series of these and have sold all but 2. I need to make more.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Into the Car Wash

My inspiration comes from the strangest places for this blog. Today's was while going though the automatic car wash.

I had just come from a morning of baby and then taking myself out to do some things that I had put off for too long ie: shopping, bank, PO etc. I have not felt very social, and it sometimes takes a real effort to go into "the zone". I armed myself with some new music for the ride, and was prepared to experience it for what it was.

While dropping clothes off at the "Sally" I met a gentleman about 15 years my senior. He said "I know you, but I don't know where from!" Of course my brain cells have derailed from time to time, and I do know A LOT of people from many different walks in my life. But he was right, it was no line, I did indeed know him. His face and personae had a familiar aura. He remembered it was from my job, where he had been in Adult Ed,(perhaps an adult reading course) and I was teaching in the next building. We would meet from time to time in the cafeteria and talk. I still don't remember his name but I do remember his sweetness and kindness. I don't think his life had been easy, and I don't think it is now, but he always had a smile, and was a gentleman. 15 years later he hasn't lost that charm, the abiity to make me feel like the most special person in the room. I was an honored guest to visit his store, and he wished me to come back soon, and whispered that time had laid her hand gracefully upon me.

Still musing about that, I went to Marshalls to wander a bit...I had not been shopping in a long time and found myself meandering through lingerie; after all is on the pathway to the shoes. I had a delightful time trying things on. Workout pants, sexy things which included shoes, which can be very sexy...even combat boots. It is all how you wear them! And for the past 1 1/2 years post my ankle surgery, I have made an art out of making flats look good with everything. I have graduated to some heels now, which is quite delightful I must say. My HIGH heel days are over I fear, but I will accept compromise.

I went to the Health food store for supplements for Megan and I. The young man was so helpful and concerned about Megan when I told him what we needed them for. We had a short but intense discussion about Iraq and the poor young people coming back sick and damaged from the war. We could not talk long, it was too intense and upsetting for us both, but he loaded me up with information and told me to come back.

The CRV really needed a good wash and a wax. I love driving a sparkling clean car. It is such a treat, and only lasts a short amount of time before road dirt changes red to grey again. A group of friendly, laughing, spunky young men ran around my car rinsing off the grime, wishing me happy New Year, and smiling like a bunch of silly boys, and then sent me on my way into the abyss of the car wash. I find the automatic car wash a really cool place. It is dark, no one can see you or hear how loud you play your music, and I have done things like take photographs, sing on the top of my lungs bouncing about in the seat, and enjoy the commotion around me while I am locked up safe and dry. (ah, I am alone when I do these things)
As the car inched through, I thought about all the spirit I had encountered on my travels in the zone.

A sincere and kind gentleman
a young boy passionate with life and the future
car wash guys frolicking like children
and my own old spirit coming back to me.

I laughed when I felt it happen and again when I felt the joy and beauty at a time where I live in a very grey space. I am grateful for such insight; it is easy to get mired down with negativity and despair, while the most wonderful and graceful moments pass us by.

Suddenly out into the world my car was thrust, and I was back again in the zone again, my eyes readjusting to the light, but rather than dreading it, I had become part the good energy around me and I smiled because I had just gotten it.

Off to play in my dreams, Patti
PS one of my little mermaid collages...she loves the car wash too......

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I Believe

I had a lazy day, a trip out into town to buy some more panels to paint on, to the PO, and to buy more wine as I was having company over to partake in all the cheese and cookies I had. I got some time in the studio, and then spent the afternoon with my friends. Rob I have known since I was 19. We went through the death of our parents together, and art school. To this day we still paint together when we can. He is the teacher though now, and I the student. He tried to convince me not to marry my first husband, but I was young and a fool back then. We have been in touch on and off over the years, with long gaps in between, only to be thrown together again by fate, and we have sworn not to let so many years go by. Kip came over too and bought me some more wood for the winter (though we have not used the fireplace yet this year...); we have known each other for ten plus years. Larry and Kip actually dated the same woman at one point in time, but not at the SAME time, LOL. Funny how life makes for strange coincidences.

Alanna came over later and we curled up in my bed and watched The Polar Express. I cried at the end when everyone but the boy stopped hearing the magic of the bell. He always would hear it because he believed.

I remembered how I refused to listen to the other kids when they told me Santa was not real. I knew that my parents were involved in it, but when I closed my eyes and let my mind run wild, I lived in a world molded by fantasy where anything was possible. I still live in that world as it is an escape from life when it gets too hard or when I need a change. I use the richness of my ever so present imagination to create many scenarios in my head, which often come out in my art. I believe...that love gives meaning to life, that there is magic, that with faith anything is possible, that I am a piece of a divine being, and that I have some influence in the world. I believe in me, and I believe in you.

I did this painting yesterday in the studio. It is acrylic on primed wood panel, with 3/4" of an edge which is also painted. The light is a bit harsh from the scanner, as it is more subtle. I have a few more pieces in progress, but this one was a bit of magic which happened in an afternoon.

Off to put Alanna to bed and dream of magic and wonder.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Butterballs Suck

I am on a rant today about last night's Christmas dinner. (picture to follow..having numerous problems posting pics to this blog recently!)

I am a decent cook. I learned how to cook at a fairly young age. When I was 16 and living in the heart of the Catskills I found myself knocking at the front door of the one and only local Inn that I could walk to. I wanted a job there, and got it! It was a private Inn which operated mostly on weekends and holidays. I was a bar back, a prep cook, a waitress, a chaimbermaid. I did it all and worked very hard from friday night through sunday afternoon, and then some hours during the week.

I learned much about life during the 3 years I was there. I was pretty innocent at 16 and had my eyes opened in many ways, from getting my first kiss forced upon me in a corner by a big man who looked like Burl Ives (that was absoluley horrible I have to say), to falling in love for the first time, and lots about sex, drugs and disco.(an aside, I learned tons about sex while cleaning my boss's bedroom as they had a series of RARE Picasso books that contained all of his sexual/porn drawings, and an illustrated book left on the bed by a guest..but those kind of stories are for another time) I had clothes my boss gave me from 5th avenue shops such as Missoni, jewelry from Cartier and Tiffanys. My father put the stop to the trip to Monte Carlo (I was going as their assistant) and to my budding modeling career in NY (Gisele was ready to promote me as she was a Parisian model and had all the connections). I have since traveled to Europe and did indeed do some modeling stints, albeit later in my life, and I am grateful that I got to do the very things I dreamed of, which had been denied to me. My father would be rolling in his grave if he ever knew what I saw, and what I did.

But what I took most with me was what I learned in the kitchen. I learned about cooking everything fresh from the market; rarely did a can come into the Inn. I learned about fine french wine and drank only Dom Perignon. Shepherds pie was made from the left over filet mignon. I harvested fresh watercress from a local ditch, and made soup. I still make some of those meals today and appreciate all the lessons I learned as a young girl coming of age. I became absolutely spoiled, and perhaps that is where my stern criteria for only the best in food and alcohol and other fine things in life was born.

Which leads to my rant.

Christmas dinner was going to be very small as it four of us. I saw no sense in cooking a giant turkey as 1)it was more work and 2) I did not want to waste an entire turkey. So I told Larry to buy 2 turkey breasts. Now I have made breasts before, been happy with them, and got the best part of the turkey since I am a white meat girl.

He bought 2 Butterball breasts. I open them and they didn't look like turkey breasts, but I figure that they have de-boned them. They are wrapped in a string netting which was to be left on. I cooked them according to the directions, adding herbs, rubbed them down with olive, and garlic, of course. I cooked the little f----ers like they said, got the rest of the dinner coordinated, and it came time to serve. First of all, the big disappointment was there was very little, if any, crisp turkey skin to nibble on. I LOVE HERBED CHICKEN AND TURKEY SKIN. Ok, I would live through that disappointment. Then I tried to get the string netting off the turkey. IT WOULD NOT BUDGE. As I am cutting it, I am noticing that this is very strange meat. It was not all white! I gave up, called Larry in to do his manly job of carving while I got all the other dishes ready.

Well, what this was, was a conglomeration of turkey meat pressed together into what was supposed to look like a breast, and injected with tons of sodium and the like, then rolled into a roast. I was pissed. I had no choice but to serve it, but man, what a disappointment! It was a lie and I was deceived! And it near ruined my Christmas dinner.

So, in my fridge sits the remains of 1.5 breasts. What am I going to do with this? I can't throw it out. I suppose I will make some kind of soup and salad with it. Perhaps if I put enough REAL food into it I can pull it off. BUTTERBALLS SUCK. Plain and simple. Perhaps I should send them a link to tonights blog?

Oh, and if you are a reader, two books of note about the sensuality of food. La Cucina ( link is to a brief review) and Like Water for Chocolate(the movie to the second book is quite enjoyable too!)



Monday, December 25, 2006

And to all a good night....

I went to my brother in law's famous Swedish smorgasbord yesterday. 7 hours of an eat-and-drink fest. You start out with glugg, the next course is accompanied by red wine, then the next by a dark beer. After that, you drink Aquaveet, and if you make it past that, you drink your favorite of the four. I got punished yesterday for eating the Swedish meatballs before I finished all the fish dishes. The punishment? 3 shots of Aquaveet, which is like a vodka infused with the flavor of caraway. I would have preferred a spanking, but I quess the aquaveet was the next best thing. They all laughed at me later, as they said I had a rosy glow that only comes with imbibing the nectar of the Swedes. Personally, I think it was my hormones set off by the drink, but who cares. I was relaxed and laughing for the first time in days.

Larry always dresses up as Santa for the little children, and they and the adults alike are thrilled when he makes his magical appearance and hands out stuffed teddys, nutcrackers, candy canes and chocolate.

I did not get to bed till 2 am and thank God Megan and Alanna slept till 9 am. We take hours to open presents, which is fun. We each open a present at a time, and Larry, being Santa, usually goes overboard. I am thrilled with new music, DVDs and CDs on meditation (do I need that),art books, and art supplies. He knows I have big art plans this year in between everything else in my life, and he likes to keep me well supplied and in a good state of mind, therefore the bottle of Patron (when meditation is not enough, you need some medication!)clothes, silk nightwear and lovely lotion. (this girl has GOT to have her lotion!)

It is late, the guests have all left, I am fried, but I want to dig into my books and read, or else watch a movie. I was blessed to have spent quality loving time with my daughter; I don't even want to think that is could be the last holiday together, but it was hard to keep the dark shadows away---each time she was sick. But her attitude is great, she is in love with a guy who adores her and I hope that it lasts for a while.

The photo is of my house. It always looks so different in photographs; more magical, bigger, and cleaner than what I see through my own eyes. It is like seeing it through a different set of eyes, a different perspective. The camera captures the light, the mood, the essence that we sometimes don't see with our subjective familiarity of the place or person. I wish I could see the world like that all the time. How interesting that would be?

Tonight I am seeing through the eyes of a child, the eyes of youth, and the eyes of a woman with many experiences. And they are all good as they bring something different to my being.

Good night, be safe, Patti

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Broken Angels

Last night late, after a few glasses of glugg, I finally got myself in the mood for decorating my poor tree. My bare tree was too much of a reflection of my soul as of late, with just a few lights perking it up. I put on one of my favorite CDs called In Search of Angels, and started hauling out the decorations.

I put on the 2 or 3 dozen glass icicles that we bought from this little old man at a fair several years ago. Larry came in and reminded me that the man had died and he was so glad that he had purchased them from him. Thanks Larry for setting the tone for the evening! So with each icicle I hung I felt a deep sadness for this man who loved glass. When I got to two beautiful snowflakes made from porcelain, I remembered my friend Mary who gave them to me. She was one of the first people who loved me unconditionally right up to the day she died. She died very young of cervical cancer and was the most amazing role model for putting up a fight with dignity and love. I have a sweet collection of ornaments given to me by various people over the years, thank GOD most of them still alive. Each one I hung whispered soft memories in my heart.

I came to the angel ornament and put it back. I used to collect angels and over the years something has happened to each one. They get knocked over by cats or people, or things mysteriously fly across the room and knock them down. I have a collection of handicapped angels that will never fly again because they are missing a wing.I figured I was saving this one from a similar fate. Later on it mysteriously appeared on the tree. Larry said, "oh, I want this one out". I did not say anything, but murmured a little prayer for its safety. I did tell him I am no longer collecting angels, that I am going to stick to pixies and elves because I relate to them so much better.

Then I remembered my mantle, which houses two sculptures which I bought because they were broken. A head from a statue, and a beautiful cherub torso from a 19th century architectural piece. They were beautiful in their imperfections, as were my collection of broken angels. (they are in the photo)

I mused about it for a while and realized we are all broken angels, our characters chipped, wings clipped, but we still strive to fly. My broken angel collection will forever be a reminder of the strength of love and of the human spirit. And that we can all fly in our dreams and imaginations.

To my friends who are MY angels, a kiss and a long warm hug to you, and may visions of sugar plums or something REALLY good, dance in your hearts tonight.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

H is for...........

I was visited by the muse of inspiration and problem solving today. I had wrote an email to a friend about visits from the muse of creativity, and how people and our interactions in life help form the vessel within us for such creativity. Divine inspiration strikes, and art is born. (my immaculate conception)

So here I am, scanning a gift I made for my neice, and realized what my next zine will be. I have been ruminating on some sort of an Alphabet Book, but not one like a is for apple, b is for beast, but one based upon
1)those old Victorian verses (V was a vintner who drank all the wine--something like that)
2) My own twisted left-of-center humor.

I will design each alphabet after I write the poem. Those of you who have a copy of Eat Man Drink Water will know what they are in for.

So what is H for?
Heroic NOPE.
Handsome? Maybe
Horny? That might be part of it.

Did you know that HORNEY (horny with an e inserted in it) was a German-born American psychoanalyst who emphasized the role of environmental and cultural factors in the development of neurosis? Now that also has possibilities but I would need a reference guide at the end of the book.

The writing still has to come, but it is a step closer to what I have been visualizing for a few months now. The vision is 1/2 of the work, the other 1/2 is getting it out. But the hard part, the idea, the brilliant flash within my brain has impregnated the seed of the muse into my very being and I will gestate and birth yet another little chap take to parties, give to your ex mother-in-law, or send in a little brown envelope to your secret pal.

And, if I have the entire set of Alphabets that I have painted, collaged, etc. I have the fodder for a show, and a sale of each mini artwork at the end. TA Alanna says! My readers, please email me or comment on this. I always appreciate and welcome feedback!!!

dancing with elves in glee,

Friday, December 22, 2006

Simple Gifts

The day was a kaleidascope of emotion. I started the day with a headache, and the kids were foul. The holidays put so much pressure on us all, and I felt very distant from Christmas this year. The energy from the kids and staff was stagnant and struggling. I gave very few cards or gifts this year; only to those who have a special place in my heart.

I have been making gifts as they embrace the true meaning of giving. They reflect my heart and the deep love that is involved in the act of creating them, whether creating a card, a mix of music, a collaged notebook. I try and pick out meaningful gifts, but it is not the same as something from my very being.

What touched me most was I received gifts today that were priceless today; a hug from a friend, my dentist fixing a my tooth and after seeing my joy in his work, did not charge me and said "Merry Christmas". My cousin sent money for Megan and the baby, my girlfriend Annie gave me wine and made us cookies. Leah gave me homemade pierogies (oh I love them so) and a gift certificate to Monkey Joes Coffee Shop where I can take my sketchbook and journal pretending I am in cafe in Paris. I got a phone call from Bardet in California and we giggled and planned wicked things this coming summer. Tom stopped by and brought Christmas presents for Megan and Alanna.

I found myself stopping and realizing that I had been blessed with the simplest but most wonderful gift of them all, the gift of selfless giving and of friendship. I am blessed with the spirit of people giving with great love to me, and perhaps for the first time in my life, I am learning to accept such precious gifts.

Over drinks and dinner, I told my friend Annie that I truely believe that people and events are put before us for reasons. There are so many lessons to be taken from all that we experience. I am bequiled by the lessons I learn each and every day. That is why I can embrace pain, as it too has its lesson.

Thank you all for teaching me how to appreciate your gifts of love and generosity. I love you all.


PS A photo of Alanna discovering a lamp in my garden this past summer, full of innocence, curiosity and discovery.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I am in a room surrounded with many mirrors on all sides and at every angle. I have no choice but to see myself, a myriad of reflections in thousands of different pieces, the collective of which form the whole. The mirrors are magic; they reflect image and the heart, past and present. They reflect a lifetime of regrets, of pain, of joy, of love, of choices and paths. In order to see myself I must see each and every reflection. I can close my eyes to shut it out, but I cannot stay long in the dark. I must face the mirrors and look deep into the stories and find truth and meaning in it all.

It was a very difficult day. A co-worker has a third occurance of cancer. It grew rapidly in a week. My son dated her daughter. It is too close to home with what is going on in my life. My son has called and excused himself out of Christmas altogether. I don't know why, but I suspect it comes from a place of fear, addiction, shame, and avoidance. How does one exist amoungst the canned Christmas carols and crowds? I cannot bring myself to write out cards, or make cookies for the kids.

I tear myself away from my reflections now and again to meet a friend, and seek something to pour myself into. I try and maintain humor, but sometimes I don't want to be humorous. Often I go to the place where noone can find me. Only the muse of creativity is welcomed to visit and I greet her with great reverence.

My readers, I am sorry for such a difficult post. But along with my humor and my joy comes my pain. It is a complex synthesis of emotion. But I would not have it any other way.

In love, Patti

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Crashing Cars-A Long One

(Still having problems posting images...)

At the end of the day I was working with my two favorite students and one of them requested some Motown. I had been cruising the internet radio channels looking for just the right music for this class and figured, why not? What a flashback to my days of youth. We were singing the songs, dancing, and painting. It was a riot to see 17 year olds groove to something I listened to back in the 70's. One of the students said that when she blasts the music in her car, she nearly runs into things. I laughed, because I had a flash back to being 19, driving, and having a few car crashes of my own.

Because of the nature of the "circumstances of the crashes", you are going to have to fill in the blanks on how some of them might have happened. Some of you will never guess, some of you will groan and say OH NO, YOU DIDN'T. I don't know if any of my present readers remember me from this period. I think one or two of you do,. but never knew about some of the events that I write about. (hey, are you still my friends now that you know what a nut I was..or did you figure that out years ago?)

My first car crash came on my birthday, November 10th, 1976 to be exact. I was driving to school and it had snowed about 4". The college was not closed, so I headed out. I had never driven in the snow before, and my father told me to test my brakes to see how the car reacted once I got onto the highway. I pulled out onto Route 28, got to about 35 mph and slammed on my brakes. I go into a spin and into the ditch. I was mortified! But I was more terrified that my father who was not far behind me would find me in the ditch and think I was an idiot. I don't know how I did it, but it was one of those super-human strength events, I pushed the car out of the ditch and headed to a friend's house where I had a mini-breakdown.

The next crash came after a romp with one of my boyfriends early in the morning. We were heading to my mother's house for some reason, and I was driving without paying much attention to the speed limit or the road. All of a sudden I hit a patch of gravel on a curve and my little Toyota flipped into a phone pole. We were lucky to get out unscathed. We had to be pulled from the car as it was on its side. What was worse was that my boyfriend's father HATED me as he considered me a freaky hippy girl who had seduced his only boy. I had to face him...that was the last time he had anything to do with me. The father that is. The next week I had the worst case of poison ivy all over and had to travel via bicycle till my car got fixed.

Then there was the time I drove into the farmer's fence. I was alone and totally not paying attention to the road, that is for sure. I can't tell any more except that I was freaking out that someone had seen and would find me before I could get my act together and get the hell out of there.

I calmed down a bit after this till the night I had a big fight with my fiance at the Hurley Mountain Inn. He was hanging out with some chickie poo (who I still see around to this day and have to be reminded of that night......) I am not someone to be reckoned with when I am angry and partying, so I took off and left him there and drove home like a tasmanian devil. Don't ask me how it happened, but I crashed into a car on a one way street. With my front right quarter panel dragging on the ground, my windshield cracked (and this time I did get hurt)I drove the car home and parked it along a row of bushes. I "cleaned up" the apartment a bit and walked outside to find the police searching the neighborhood. I walked out and gave myself up, invited them in for tea, and told them that I left because I was afraid that the people who's car I hit was going to hurt me (they were really bad bad boys too). The funny thing is that the guys ended up coming to harass me, I called the cops, and THEY, not ME, got into trouble.

That shook me up enough to stop all this shenanigans while driving. I came close to getting into A LOT of trouble (for many, many reasons, thank God it was the early 80's) and I knew I was not going to be so lucky forever. Besides, my insurance was starting to skyrocket.

I stayed safe till 1984 when my little toyota finally got hit and put to the graveyard. I was 5 months pregnant and had my boss in the car. A car pulls out into me, leaving pieces of my car all over the road. She pulls off the road and asks if she hit me! You want to see someone rip someone up one side and down the other?!!!! Fortuanately we were OK. It was the last time I drove without a seat belt. (no laws at the time)

Since then I have a perfect driving record. I consider myself to be a very safe driver. I have had a few people hit me from the rear, but their cars got the crunch, not mine. I don't talk on the cell while driving, I know my radio by heart and load all my music before I take off. I know my car's ability, and know that certain things don't mix with driving.

I am glad to have survived all of this, some didn't. But I sure get a chuckle when I remember it.

Drive safely this holiday season! Patti

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Hudson

No matter how hard I try and have a peaceful day, something always seems to muck it up. I won't even get into details (how many times do I say this here?) but geez, I just want to scream! I came home from a massage and some time in the studio in a mellow relaxed state and got a phone call.......

I am saving my money for a one way ticket out of here to some exotic island. And I am not answering the phone. I think I will play Gauguin, only from a female's point of view.

A dear friend connected my old set of Altec Lansing speakers to my computer at work. The sound is amazing and I am SO happy to have quality sound for music in my room. I have a difficult job at times, and I spend about 8 hours a day in my classroom. I have it well equipped. Microwave, refrigerator, coffee grinder, coffee maker, computer, now a GREAT SOUND SYSTEM. I found a few online radio stations with FAB music that will keep me going for a while. I know how to take care of myself, and music is the balm of my life.

My friend says he often plays classical music while crossing the Hudson River after a long day of work. I love the Hudson. One of my favorite views is the Catskills crossing the Hudson on the Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge. I have seen the most magnificant of sunsets, and watched many storms march over the Catskills. I love the river and the mountains; they are romantic, filled with the history of its original settlers, painters such as Cole and Church, writers such as Burroughs, et. al.

I have hiked some of the Catskills; Overlook, Slide Mountain, Panther Mountain, and Giant Ledge. I have spent hours sitting on old stone walls under a favorite tree, writing poetry, and drawing. I kissed my first boy/man on a mountain top in the Catskills only to be caught by my father's best friend. I have spent hours up and down the Hudson photographing and painting. I have toured the great estates. One of my fantasies is to spend a summer off traveling the river and painting its many vistas.

Here are a portion of Dar William's lyrics about the Hudson from her latest CD:

The river roads collect the tolls
for the passage of our souls
through silence, over woods, through flowers and snow
and past the George Washington Bridge,
down from the trails of Breakneck Ridge,
the river's ancient path is sacred and slow

And as it swings through Harlem,
it's every shade of blue
into the city of the new brand new

And the Hudson, it holds the life
we thought we did it on our own
I thought I had no sense of place or past
time was too slow, but then too fast
the river takes us home at last

Where and when does the memory take hold,
mountain range in the Autumn cold
and I thought West Point was Camelot in the spring.
If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
helps you feel your life protects you,
cradles you and connects you to everything....

Tonight's artwork is a view of the river I painted from the back of Olana, the home of the GREATEST Hudson River Painter Frederick Church.

This picture and entry is to you my friend! And THANK YOU for your help and friendship.


The Things that Live in Your Mouth

I had to republish my blog to get the picture I wanted to post for is 24 hours later, but heck, better late than never. A scarey picture from a 1927 book on Exodontia.

Today was rather non-eventful, which is always good. I have enough little earthquakes to deserve peace now and then.

I did have a dentist appointment after work for my check up. It had been two years as I cancelled my appointment last year after I broke my foot as I could not stand to be tortured and I had developed a phobia about pain. (ever feel like your foot has been caught in a bear trap for months??!!)

I finally got the nerve up to go..and thank GOD my teeth are great. I have a small chip which they will fix, but everything else is FAB.

Now I have this neurosis about teeth and mouth hygiene. I simply can't stand bad teeth, missing teeth, funky teeth or no teeth. I will sell EVERYTHING if I had to in order to have good teeth.

So the dentist sticks this probe up into my gums and says WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT WHAT IS LIVING IN YOUR MOUTH. They have a digital microscope that blows everything up a million times and you can see it on a computer screen. Well, this was weirder than the guy who xrayed my hips last month and asked me if I wanted to see my pelvis on his computer screen. (in my younger days the line was "would you like you see my how technology has changed things..) At least this time I was dressed.

Oh my God. There were things swimming around that looked obscene, alive, and deadly. There were long ones, fat ones, round ones, hairy ones. The good news was, that there were no BAD ones. Guess the antibiotics that I took last month killed all those little f---kers.

They explained to me the extreme importance of having good oral hygiene as I have lots of hardware in my leg. Any bad germs that are in the mouth can go straight to my ankle and kill me. (and this is no lie. Last week over dinner a guy told me about his friend who died from something similar from his broken ankle a year and a half post surgery!) I did not ask the hows, just took all the stuff they gave me, bought the water pik, gave them 200.00+ and jetted out the door.

So now I have something new to be neurotic about. And Larry, well, I feel sorry for him, but my oral hygiene comes first.

Does that mean I can't talk dirty either?

chuckling, Patti

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Getting into my Pants (and other tales)

So now that I have your attention, you will have to read my blogs for a LONG time in order to find out the secret. Larry has been trying to figure it out for 13 years. I am sure it remains an enigma to him. Personally, I don't think it is rocket science.

BUT before we get derailed here, back to the REAL STORY of the title.

I was invited to my friend Barbara's party. She was my cooperating teacher while I was student teaching, and is one of the gifts that the universe has given me. She helped mold who I am as a teacher in regards to my energy, my organizational skills (those of you who have been in my room OR my studio---cut the laughter. I know just about where everything is messy by nature!)how to prep, get kids in and out, how to nurture and fire up their imagination and get a successful product, and perhaps MOST of all, how to be your own free spirit, and not care what the rest of the eduational world thinks about you.

I had no clue how to dress. I was feeling rather spunky and am tired of dressing for "school" so I dug out what every woman should have, a pair of black leather pants, a bad girl top, with a jacket that somewhat covers the top. And of course, my black boots with heels as high as my foot and leg can take it. I looked at the pants, it had been an entire year since I had them on and since I have not been weighing myself, I had no idea if they would even fit. I have had them quite a long time and they have been kind to me in spite of ups and downs of my weight, so I took a breath, slipped them on and VOILLA. What, I need a belt? I was rather surprised that they fit perfectly, and if anything, I needed a belt to keep them just right. Off to the party where Barbara had on an outfit that shimmered more than the 6-10 trees she had decked to the max with glitz and glass. I was rather subdued next to her, but heck, I was not intending to be competition, because with Barbara, there is no chance in hell I would win. The food was great, I ate more than I had in weeks, sipped on champagne and Baileys. I was a cheap date, I felt the champagne fast and figured I had better take it really really slow.

I did not stay late, I was not in the most social of moods, but it was good to get out and chat for a bit with some people from other life times, and as I headed out the door Barbara bedecked me with her fire red feather boa. I have the perfect outfit for that Barbara. Just you wait.

I did not sleep again last night, but I am getting used to that. Today I worked on the house, took a mile walk and did some hill work, and actually felt like I was ready to run again, but knew better than to try. I spent the rest of the evening working the studio, and dug out some of my old tapes. Bryan Ferry crooned to me "I'll do Anything to Turn you On", (hint #1 for those of you out there who are trying to figure out your partners) "Slave to Love" and other great pieces. I have to say that Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry hold up after all these years. I really enjoyed the trip back in time and reminisced about his concert that I attended at the Civic Center in Poughkeepsie with my sister and my girlfriend's husband. Remember that concert Ed? He left his wife home, I left my boyfriend home, we grabbed my sister and partied! Enough of all of this.

Tonight's work is one of a series of gifts I am making. Little moleskin pocket notebooks, and I am custom collaging each one. I made a few and I am in love with them.

Till tomorrow! Patti O Light!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Chain letter

When I see you
I want to tell you
1001 stories
and the words that form
get stuck in a mire of
sighs and whispers
and form a chain
which hangs heavily around my neck.

I talk about the weather,
what art I sold,
and tell you I am fine.

What if
you take this
chain of words and memories,
decipher and untangle
the knots.
Will you understand
the pain, the passion,
the joy and desire
to live in white light?

Or will I
wear it,
till it breaks
and the words fly away;
a million scattered thoughts,
and dreams
trampled in the dust ....

copyright PA Gibbons
please do not use without permission. Thanks

Note: this poem has been gestating in the darkness of my bedroom while tossing and turning, influenced by people and events of the past few months. I have laid awake for hours, nights on end, words and images running through my brain into a little corner where I save them till morning. I awoke to the sun peeping in on me, and I grabbed my morning coffee and let the words untangle themselves from the deep recesses where I kept them carefully stored, and let the muse speak. Evenutally the images will take visual form in my studio. I am grateful when the muse visits, even at the most unlikely and inconvenient of times. The photo is a cropped section of a picture Larry took of Megan which was in a blog about a week ago, and I altered it in Photoshop for today's photo.

In light, Patti

Friday, December 15, 2006

Letting Go

The original blog post was a poem filled with anger and pain and resentment. After hours of searching my soul I realized that this was pointless, unproductive, and I was giving my energy to a black space and I needed to shift gears. I realized that I have no control over what happens in life and I have to let it go.

I sat in court for 5 hours today on a freezing cold bench awaiting the outcome of the assault charges my daughter filed on her fiance. To keep it brief, the court reduced the charges for him to aggrevated harassment. I was livid. I had gone in there hoping that after 20 years something might have changed. But it seems that if you can afford a good attorney you can get away with beating your wife or girlfriend. There is more to the story, but I would rather not bore you with the details. My Irish Scorpio temper got me riled up for a while, and it took a lot of strength to not shout at the judge in the court room. I took my cold aching ass out of there and hugged my daughter who was devastated. I wanted revenge I suppose. I hoped that the universe would do something to break the cycle of abuse. On one level perhaps it was revenge for me...for the mental and physcial violations that I endured in my life.

I just called her and told her that he was not worth any more time and to use her energy to heal her body. And I have to be a good role model for my child who still has much to learn from me.

There is a good ending to the story. The local arts society in my small city is doing a benefit and some of the money is going to go to Megan for her medication/chemo/etc. costs. The love and kindness of friends has been what has kept us afloat and I again sat and cried when I was told this. But they were not sad tears, they were tears of appreciation and hope.

The digital self portrait is a project I did in school with the kids. They had to take a picture of themselves and put themselves in a scene. It is one of the first photoshop projects I did, and the kids love the project. I look at this to remind myself that I can go to a place of magic and peace.

I am off to bed. I am in need of sleep and magical dreams where every tale has a happy ending.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sparks, Shocks and other Electifying Matters

I walk about these days feeling like a live wire, full of raw nerves, energy flying all around me. I can't say it is a bad feeling, as I feel alive and enjoy the tingling and electricity that emanates from my being. I wonder what my aura looks like; I am sure it is red and gold and I look like the grand finale at a July 4th celebration. Sometimes I wonder if someone touched me, would I shock them, or would I fly into a million pinpricks of light.

I know what it is like to be shocked. Once I was making cookies at Christmas time, I put in the tray in the oven and it touched a live ungrounded element. (the landlord was my boyfriend at the time...he has long since been FIRED). I was on the phone, and got thrown across the room, I lay on the ground, not sure what had just happened to me. My friend is screaming "Patti, what has happened, are you OK????" while the cookies slid down the wall, leaving a trail like slugs after a rainstorm.

I can't help but wonder if I am some scientific anomaly of synapses and firings. If I were bi-polar, I would say I was in a manic stage. But I am most decidedly not. I am quite grounded, let me assure you.

I came home to a few good things. Some art/cards/things were sold on the internet, and I received a call from a gallery saying I sold the piece which I posted on tonite's blog. I am a bit shocked as it is rather an intense piece, nothing pretty or beautiful for the wall. It is called "They Cut My Hair" and I made it out of anger and trying to heal from the abuses of childhood. I almost feel like I have to call the buyer and let them know the energy under which it was made. (shoot yourself in the foot Patti?) My mother used to brush my hair and pull on it and cause me much pain. She would cut my hair, and cut my bangs so short that I would go to school shamed. It is always a joy to sell art, and so gratifying..especially when I am needing some kind of acknowledgement and appreciation for who I am and what I do.

Enough jabbering...I am sure tomorrow will have more interesting tales to tell.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Power of Love

First of all, it was blogspot, not me, that was out of order last night. I tried uploading last night's image from school, and it still did not work, so I figured there was a problem with the server. It uploaded now, so here is last night's photo! It is a bit dark, but that is OK, so am I at times.

On the way home while listening to Nora Jones song Come Away With Me, I could not help but think about love in its many forms. I thought about Alanna and what she has taught me these past two years about myself. I have learned to put aside the incessant chatter in my head and in my life and focus on listening to her and meeting her needs instead my own. She thanks me for all that I do with her smiles, her words, with her hugs and kisses. I am filled with gratitude and love when I put her to bed and she nuzzles into me and kisses me and strokes my hair. I whisper "I love you" and she smiles, and answers "I love you too." There is nothing sweeter in the world. Sometimes I have to turn away so she does not see the sadness in my face when I let my thoughts slip away and wish that I had that as a child, and that I was able to take the time to give like this to my own children. But that is all the past, and I am grateful for what I can give now.

It has taken many years to learn how to love. I don't think I experienced much unconditional love save from friends and a handful of men who never gave up on me. Over the years I learned that I could never love anyone until I learned to love myself. Once I learned how to love it opened the portal to light and fulfillment beyond my dreams. I have learned to say I am sorry, and learned when to bite my tongue. (ok, most of the time..) I try not to be angry, and try to forgive those who have hurt me.

I still face a few challenges in my life; I want to have a relationship with my higher power whom I shut out a long time ago. Without a connection to something spiritual I fear I cannot reach my potential in love, and I want to learn how to love my chidren as I should have 20 years ago when I was too damaged to love. I know it is never too late to love anyone and I hope that my sick daughter will embrace my love and that the power of love will transform her too, no matter what the outcome of her cancer may be.

I find love in unusual places and look forward to each and every day because of it. I love you all...because any of you who read this must have love in your hearts too. Shalom, patti

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Feeling of Christmas

A feeling of Christmas has many meanings when you work at a school like I do. When you work with at-risk youth and emotionally disturbed teens, this time of year can be rather difficult. A long break is coming and the holidays can be a time of disappointment, dysfunctional family gatherings, and bad bad things. Kids start to act out. You are trying to keep the class on task and humored, but it can get really tough. Things get thrown, someone is getting cursed out, the cute wonderful little darlings turn into full blown demons. And, when they are whispering HO HO HO behind your back, they are not pretending you are Mrs. Claus.

I can empathize and normally have a lot of patience, but it is really tough when you haven't slept in 3 days, and you have your own dysfunctional family gatherings to look forward to, or some other heavy shit on your brain.

Today was one day I could not bear the load. I realized that things were rapidly getting out of control and without my reining them in hard, I was looking forward 8 more days of pure hell. So I put on my scorpio bitch hat and plowed through the day.

It was exhausting. All I wanted was a massage and a martini or a bloody mary or any thing to take the edge off. I had to settle for my chiropractor (who is wonderful, but I can't get a massage out of him) and a little walk in town.

I did manage to pick up a few gifts, took a nice stroll in the crisp air, and stopped into my friend's music store and my other friends gift shop. A few hugs and well wishes later I headed home. Damn, no wine, no beer, just tomato juice. OK, a Virgin Mary. Did not quite do the job. I called Larry. "Look", I tell him. "I got your sister her Christmas gifts, so can you PLEASE pick up a bottle of wine? I've run out of steam". He said he wasn't sure if the liquor store was open. I told him "what kind of a liquor store closes before 9 pm?!" Touche` says the demon in my ear. "no wine, no dinner!" sneers the other demon. (I am just having a flashback to a David Chapelle show...LOL) Man, I have GOT to calm down. SHUT UP I tell them, and flick them off my shoulders.

While waiting for the wine I decided to take a festive photograph of the outside of my house. Found the digital camera, found the card, the card reader. WHAT NO BATTERIES??? Off to search for some. Tried everything. The calculator, the scale, hmm...where else do I have batteries? Damn, those are dead too. Sigh. Ah, some in the freezer. NO WAY --- only 3? STILL READING NO CHARGE. OK. I give up. Find the battery charger and hope that the batteries I put in there are rechargables.

Finally, a photo of the house, the side door, complete with gargoyle. After all of this, I am trying to post to my blog, and something is wrong with the site. No picture, not loading. The demons are back and are dancing on the keys in a very angry manner. Eventually I will get the photo on.....augh.

I think I need a hot bath. The demons need to leave me now, and I plan on finding some quite music (Rasa is beautiful soothing music to listen to...check out the CD Temple of Love.

Larry bought home the wine, I cooked a nice dinner (shrimp in lemon, celery, garlic and butter, with organic sweet potatoes) and am beat. So this is the feeling of Christmas?

Cheers, Patti

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Sweetness of Music

In my search for something to write about tonite, I found a phrase by Kahil Gibran which states "Sadness is but a wall between two gardens." Yet if I am the wall, think of the beauty I gaze upon, and over time walls crumble and fall, and the gardens spill together. It is reminder that nothing is permanent and all things change with time.

I know that without sadness we cannot know joy and empathy. Without pain there is no healing or growth. I must keep this perspective, for without it I would fall into an abyss of darkness and self pity.

Music is the one balm that I reach for time and time again when I am sad. Some of my favorite hauntingly beautiful pieces are Ralph Vaughn Williams "Serenade to Music", Samuel Barbers "Adagio for Strings", Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy". They are hot linked to Amazon and if you scroll down you can listen to samples of the music. Some of the most sensuous experiences in my life have been going to the Symphony and let the music flow and caress my body like the warm and trembling hands of a lover. I used to have a box at Bard for the performances of the American Symphony Orchestra, and would go to every performance.
There is nothing like a live performance to experience the sigh of the violin, the weeping of the cello, (David Darling is a fab contemporary Cello player) the lilting of the flute, and the pounding of the drums. It has been a long time since I have gone and I think I am ready for a concert.

I love contemporary music too, everything from bluegrass to Celtic, classic rock and alternative. I recently bought several CD's which I listen to over and over in the car in order to absorb the music. One is by the Duhks (progressive bluegrass/folk) who played locally here (I am pissed that I did not go) and the new Dar Williams who does a haunting cover with Ani DiFranco of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb (a state I like to go to once in a while..)and a song So Close to My Heart which makes me think of a very dear friend. KT Tunstalls CD is pretty good too, . I still reach for Joni periodically; she will always be a favorite, as well as CSNY, Dire Straits and more...

Before I fall asleep every night, I put on a CD that is soothing, focus on what I want to dream about for the evening, and drift to another world......

In the words of Shakespeare put to music by Vaughn Williams:
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony."

Good night and sweet dreams, and as I said to my children and now to Alanna, Happy Faces in the Morning!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

You are my Angels

This artwork was a part of a series of art works I created where I confronted the nightmares of childhood and spousal abuse. This particular piece is a mother grieving over the death of her child, being comforted by an angel. I had made the piece at a vulnerable time in my life when my children were on self destruct. I had worked hard to repair the damages from my past, and it grieved me to be able to do so little to help them. One of the biggest heartaches in my life is that I work with children every day, giving them love and safety and joy. I think I make a difference in their lives, yet I can't help my own children.

I totally melted down last night, and it is ok, as it is a natural part of life. I started to get sick again, which scared me because I know I can't help anyone if I am not healthy. I did some necessary shopping, then spent the afternoon in bed drinking tea to heal myself.

I had received several emails from friends whom I have known for years. My one friend Lois, took care of my daughter 2 weeks after she was born so that I could go back to work. She wrote to me last night and said "You have been an inspiration, and an amazing example of what it is to play the hand that destiny has dealt you and push through. I admire you more than I have probably ever expressed. You have been one of the single most reasons that I will never give up. The strength of a Angel...." That touched me so and made me cry. Other friends are cooking for Megan so she can eat well, others take me out for a drink and some fun. YOU all are my angels, how could I have strength without you? You are my light, my warmth, my source of love and joy. You have all seen me as the epitome of strength in times of great pain and difficulty, but without you I would not have made it. May your love come back tenfold.

Speaking of Angels, one of my favorite holiday CD's is called "In Search of Angels". From Tim Story, KD Lang, various choirs, and Patty Larkin, the CD is one of comfort and peace. I am momentarily transported to another realm. In my dreams I have been there, great places of light and warmth. In my dreams I did not want to come back to earth. Sometimes I wonder if they are actually I believe there are other realms, other dimensions to the physical plane we live in, and I yearn to explore and seek them out. In the meantime books, music, art and dreams are my transports to other worlds. Also for those of you who like Christmas music, I bought Larry the new Sarah McLaughlin holiday CD. It is quite nice. She has a beautiful voice, and her live performances are fabulous. (saw her at the Beacon some years ago)

So all my angels, great peace and love to you all. You know who you are. I send a kiss to each one of you, and a piece of my heart. patti

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fire Twirlers, Fire Starters and other such things

My friend Dave has been trying to send me this fractal he made for a week now. I finally got the file this morning, thought it perfect and inspirational for the days writing.

Dave is my best friend's husband whom I have known for some 18 years or so. He also reads this blog on a regular basis (right Dave?) We have lots of history together over the years and he has always been a fun, kind, and loving guy. He is also a walking miracle, being a skydiver who has had two very bad accidents and is lucky to be alive. After a long recovery and surgeries he is mountain biking like a madman and puts me to shame when I even THINK about complaining about my own plates in my foot and leg. You are an inspiration Dave!

This fractal remind me of the fire twirling I saw last night. I was amazed how the performers danced and twirled to the deep, earthy, sensual rhythm of music that they played from their VW bug. They danced around inside a circle of fire, they twirled and swirled like the little spits of fire that crackle forth from a huge bonfire. It was so primal and I kept thinking that if I were doing that, I would set myself on fire and crack my head open with the twirlers. What made it even more amazing was the contrast of fire and the cold 20 degree weather outside. We could see our breath, I danced in place with the beat of the music to keep warm, and feel connected to the earth. It was such an experience and I absorbed it with my entire being.

There are times I feel like one with the fire. Passion, desire, creativity all burn within me. The passion of love and lust and living life to its fullest, desire for knowledge and connecting with others whose own fiery essence inspires and excite me.
I have to be careful when I play with the fire I encounter in life as I painfully aware of the possiblity of burning or getting burnt, and have to find that place in the fire where I can play and still be safe. You know that place, the place in the flame that you can pass your hand through and not get burned.

I have encountered a few fire starters in my life. There are those who burn with a bright flame and then burn themselves out, there are the fires that never quite get hot enough to enjoy. There are the steady burners that provide heat and warmth and light for our entire lives. Those are the ones I like best, though the others have their own purposes in our lives.

I had the baby all day and Megan just left. We had a long talk about her health and her cancer. It was very intense. They have consulted with Sloan Kettering and the doctors agreed not to operate unless the tumor keeps growing. Then the surgery will be complicated, she will be in the hospital for a very long time and lose massive amounts of weight. She weighs 115 as it is. It would be a last ditch effort. In the meantime she will be getting xrays every three weeks to keep track of the tumor's growth and be getting pumped full of chemo. It is very frightening for this 22 year old mother. It is frightening for me. We have to pray that the chemo works. I had a melt down and cried my eyes out. I think Larry feels quite helpless and tries to be so positive. I hate it when he is like that.

May you have lots of fire in your life and have plenty of kindling to keep your own fire burning bright, Patti

Friday, December 08, 2006

Living a Sensuous Life

One of the descriptive phrases in my blog is "living a sensuous life". Now many think that sensuality equates sexuality. Sexuality is a part of sensuality, but the term sensuality includes ALL the senses; taste, smell, hearing, touch, sight and feeling. (did I leave any out?) Da Vinci stressed the importance of fine tuning all of our senses in order to realize our potential.

I try to live sensuality to its max. There are certain things in life that I must have on a daily basis. Fresh ground coffee, wonderful soap and shampoo, luscious lotion for my post shower body (essential during the cold winter months here in the northeast.), lovely underwear, good music, wonderful fine cotton sheets and a good down pillow. Oh, and a fantastic imagination. In the winter I love to wear velour, velvet, soft wools. When it is really cold I wrap myself in layers and on a snowy day love to trudge around the world in my Uggs.

I start my day off pampering myself, getting my psyche ready for the day. While in the shower I envision what I feel like I want to wear. Being an artist I equate mood with color and fabric, so I plan my wardrobe while basking in the steaminess of my shower. I don't have music in my bathroom, otherwise I would be playing some meditation or classical music.

In the winter months I preheat my car, grab my CD of the week or the day, and am ready to venture out into the world. Though I am close to 50, I still bask in my femininity and nothing brings that out better than a great selection of lipsticks. Oh and how could I forget, exquisite perfume.

I don't drive a fancy car, my clothes are a potpourri of things that I have garnered and my house is decorated in eclectic shabby chic (see my entry "house of broken chairs").

The perfect sensuous day ends with a glass of wine, a few hours in the studio, and some sushi, and if there is any energy left, an hour with a good book or a movie.I bought a fabulous mattress this summer, and at the end of the day I sink down into it, turn off the light, and let my dreams take me to places of light, adventure, and romance.

Part of living a sensuous life is rejoicing in the beauty of the day whether it be sunshine or layers of grey flannel clouds. Life can be hard and painful, or it can be exciting and delightful; I embrace it all.

Tonite I ended my evening with dinner at the Bear Cafe in Woodstock. My friends and I had a good laugh as some people thought my friend was Patti Smith and we were a bunch of rock stars. We ended the evening with a performance of fire spinners under the cold evening stars.

Life doesn't get better than this.

The photo is of my daughter before she left for Iraq taken by Larry. I love this photo. She is so beautiful. He has captured her well, though there is a sadness that hurts my heart.

Off to dreamland, and may tomorrow be a sensuous day for you all. patti

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Process of Writing

After every blog entry, usually late at night, I wonder, what am I going to write about tomorrow. I worry that I will be redundant, get boring, or run out of ideas. The reality is I cannot shut my brain off,therefore I have no problem with topics to blog about. By the time I sit down to write, I am battling with the various thoughts and feelings which are demanding to be front and center. I sit at the computer and start to write. The rest forms itself, much like my art. The muse visits and I run with her gifts.

Who am I blogging for? I blog mostly for myself, but there is somewhat of a sensual exhibitionism I get from revealing layers of my personae. I have paid big bucks to therapists over the years to do this, and here I can do it for free. Of course, most of the time it is one-sided, and I still see a therapist to help me heal and get the most out of what life and genetics have given me, but the process is therapeutic on many levels. And, in my fantasy world, I will assemble all these musings and have fodder for a bunch of books and articles I want to write when I have more time to do that. There is never enough time.......

Which leads on to the subject of censorship. I find myself having to censor what I what I write, which is probably a good thing. One of my students was discussing the possibility of tapping into brain waves, putting them into a computer so that it could speak your thoughts. We talked about how bad that would be! Can you imaging having something spitting out every thought that you have in your head? OY!

One steps into another realm when you discuss the passions of the human heart. People can be hurt, others shocked. I have no intention to hurt anyone, and some things are better left unsaid even though they are screaming to get out. BUT MAN DO I WANT TO REALLY TELL SOME GOOD STORIES AND WHAT I REALLY THINK because on some level, we all have those stories, we all think similar thoughts, and it is the sharing that makes us human and connected.

Maybe I should have a pen name like Anne Rice did.

Back to earth. The photo. This was taken last saturday night at an art opening by my friend Tibor. Tibor and his wife are amazing people, his story is a must read,about his escape from the Nazis as a Jew in Slovakia in his biography on his website titled ART AS WITNESS Be sure to visit his artwork when you are done. In spite of great pain and suffering Tibor lives his life with gusto, and gives the best hugs in the world.

Tibor carries his camera around everywhere and always takes a picture of me. He has documented my summer of the wheelchair, of my gallery openings, and of me and my lovely little angel of a grandchild. Thank you for giving me strength through your character and attitude. And for taking beautiful commemorative photographs.

Off to German class...I blogged intead of napping, so I must leave soon to pick up beer (my turn I think) and get gas. I am a bit tired, but glad that I blogged before, rather than after class. I spend a lot of time thinking and tweaking to get this done.

Thanks, my readers, for being there and all feedback is welcomed.

Patti (the 1/2 Lithuanian)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Life is a Gamble

Life is a gamble. I try to always expect nothing and if something good happens, then it is a wonderful thing. That way you don't set yourself up for disappointment. But being human, I get over enthusiastic and hopeful, only to be disappointed and crushed time after time. The human condition.

Men have been some of my biggest disappointments. I tease my students and say "three strikes and I am switching teams!" They are abhorred. They are too young to be so glib and jaded. They haven't been left for another man or dumped for a fiance (I thought he was single!) Though I am out of the dating scene for a while now, I have other things that still disapoint me, bigger, more serious things. Like having sick and struggling children, missed opportunities in my life, broken promises, and dashed dreams. The trite but earth-shaking disappointment of today's bacon sandwich --- my nurturing soul food, which was burnt and wilted. I shake my head and say "it is what it is" and know it is all out of my control. Other's actions, health, love.

I don't know how the human spirit survives. Sometimes I wish I WERE a monkey, because I don't think monkeys think about such things or care.

Tonight's artwork is titled "The Lottery", an appropo piece for tonight's thoughts. Clowns are strange and a bit scarey. This one looks like the spawn of Stephen King. The original was bought for a doctor's birthday by his wife. They LOVE the piece. They got it. (another disappointment, when people don't get my art work)

I have made it this far and I keep the faith that I am still going to win BIG in life. Perhaps I already have and don't realize it. I lay all my chips on the table and keep going for the big one, armed with my first aid kit- a smile and my humor.
And hey, where does one get a great bacon sandwich?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What do Gibbons Eat?

This image is titled "Gibbons at Play",
The Hsuan-te Emperor (1399-1435) dated 1427
Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper and came from the website I usually don't use an internet image on my blog, but since this is over 500 years old, it might be ok and come under fair use. I just HAD to have a picture of a gibbons, and this was the best to be found and also it is beautiful.

I have a counter on my blog and can track certain stats, like how many people do visit it, what part of the world they are from, how they found me etc. I saw that my blog was accessed as a link when someone asked (Jeeves?) "what do gibbons eat?". And, of course since my name is Gibbons, and the title of my blog is EAT MAN DRINK WATER, I came up in the search. And the person actually checked out my blog. Might have been a quick in and out, but it gave me a real chuckle when I read it.

This gibbons tries to eat sensibly. I prefer to eat nothing from a can, nothing processed, and all organic. Of course, being on the run a lot, that is not always possible. I am pretty health consious, so I do the best I can to eat right. But when I am sad, or depressed, I hit the potatoes in any form (don't they stimulate the seratonin levels in the brain or something like that?) and there is no comfort better than either a grilled swiss cheese or BLT sandwhich with Hellman's Mayo smeared all over it. Oh, and chocolate milk and a pickle to boot. Not very healthy, but oh am I in heaven.

Rarely does anyone pick on me for my last name anymore, it has become a thing of the past but still a joke between my sister and I. Which reminds me, it is her birthday on friday and I must pack up the stuffed monkey, that pad of paper with a monkey on it, and oh, the monkey magnet I made her. She will get a chuckle out of it.

Off to bungle in the jungle, patti

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monday Monday

Didn't the Mamas and the Papas do that song? Sheesh, I am really dating myself here. When I think of songs like that I think of being on the playground in 5th grade in Catholic school, listening to the radio which was snuck in by one of the girls and we would listen discuss which one of the Beatles was the cutest. We talked in hushed voices as we feared the steel ruler that would come down upon us if we were discovered talking about boys.

I remember being in third grade and saying that Bonnie and Clyde were naked in the movie. Someone else had passed that along, but when it got to me, someone told on ME and I got that steel ruler. I was used to getting hit, that was no matter, it was the betrayal by a classmate that smarted more. My very first betrayal was in the first grade. I was known as the "artist" even then. My writing was good so they gave me a word to write on the stone stoop with crayons. I was proud to be asked to write something for someone. I did not often get praise. So I proudly wrote SHIT on the sidewalk. Some time later a nun came in and whisked me away, asked me if I wrote that, and I said YES rather proudly. Oh man. I was humiliated and made to wash it off the stoop with a steel brush. It took forever to get it off. My father was called and I got it again. What they did not understand was that I did not know what the word meant and I truely meant no harm, and later found out that the same girls who asked me to write it ran back to Mother Superior and told on me.

Then there was the final betrayal. Back in those days you wore shorts underneath your uniform for gym. Mine were probably down to the knees like pedal pushers. I will never forget the boy, Thomas Scianti. I was at lunch and ok, I was a bit out of line at 12 years old for picking up my skirt and showing the boys my shorts. They got to see 1" of knee. I really was very innocent but there was something delightfully wicked about showing my shorts. Thomas RAN to the Mother Superior and told her that I picked up my skirt and I was naked underneath. Again I was hauled into the office. She asked me if I did it. I told her I picked up my skirt (which I did right there in front of her in the office) and said BUT I HAVE SHORTS ON. I guess that did not matter.

It just happened to be May day and that year we had a May Pole. The only year there ever was one I think. The entire school had a ceremony to dance around the Maypole. (old pagen ritual about fertility I think, and that pole....) I was made to stand with my nose to the wall for the entire ceremony and I remember my shame and my anger and my hatred of all of those who had been cruel to me.

All this prompted by monday monday.

Oh and by the way, this image was the design for my first business card. I really loved it but figured that it might not be getting the message across that I was an artist. I wonder if there is anyone out there that could use this?

chuckling, Patti

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Late night reporting here- but brief coverage. Just got back from a VERY long but gratifying weekend. The show and energy was great and I really got charged and upbeat doing it. There is a high that you get when people are stuffed into your booth and loving what you do. I create from my heart and magic that is given to me from some divine being (God, Buddha, Allah, etc. take your pick for a diving being-I commit to none and all if that makes any sense)

I also bought a few very special pieces which I will put on the blog in the next night or two. A fabulous blown glass necklace and my Buddha shrine. They are both superb. They are worth at least 2-3 pairs of shoes LOLOL.

I am sipping wine, musing, tired. I am smiling. I am thankful. I have been graced with interacting with the most wonderful people in the world. Perhaps some year I will rent a booth and just have an anti-sale party all weekend long, feed all people and sell nothing, and give things away.??? As it is I give much away when I have a sale. It is a true pleasure.

In gratitude for abundance, Patti

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Show Report 1

What a gift today was to me. After a difficult day yesterday, I was blessed with a day of seeing old friends, and meeting new people. The show (at the New Paltz Middle school on Main Street in New Paltz, NY) is one of the best in the area and have wonderful fine art and craft. Though it is small, it is full of quality items.

Each year I feel like it is homecoming. Many of the vendors have been coming there for years. From handmade and designed clothes, jewelry, assemblage/shadow boxes to weavers and people spinning wool, it is a really wonderful intimate atmosphere. Every year some of the same people come to say hi. They don't always buy but is just fine. I have met some of the most wonderful men and women at that show and we hug and we are grateful for another year. I see customers with their children another year older and have watched them grow and blossom over the past 10 years.

Sales were great in spite of my stock being low. Illness and family have kept me from producing the amount that I usually make, but my attitude is, it is what it is. I sold art and craft alike. I met a great woman who has a wonderful website and business She has an amazing amount of artists and craftspeople on her website and was at the show shopping for gifts from my friend Kitty. She came upon my booth and ordered 125 glass slide ornaments from me for next year and I have free reign on design. That is my favorite kind of order. A year in advance, and freedom of creativity! I was thrilled. Do check out her website, and she has an large article coming out in Country Living Magazine. I am not sure when, but when I find out I will post. My friend Kitty was there too with her amazing assemblages made out of antique and vintage items. If she has a link to a gallery or site where her work is, I will post it tomorrow. I bought a large assemblage of a Buddha from her as soon as I walked into the show. It beckoned to me and it will hold a place of honor in my soon to be set up meditation area in my spare bedroom or my studio. I want my husband to see it I am not sure of where I will hang it. I have three pieces of her work and buy one every year that I see her, as well as very special gifts for others.

I ended the night getting Alanna and taking her to an art opening with live music. She danced and ate cheese and kept running around shouting "another party!". LOL.
I saw some of my friends there and that is always fun.

The only down side of the evening was another phone call from Megan. The police arrested her ex fiance and put him in jail for 25,000 bail as this was not the first time he violated the order of protection. They called his mother's house saying he could either come down and surrender and turn himself in or they would find him. Her response was "he is not coming down, I don't know where he is, probably hunting down that bitch". The police tried calling my daughter on the cell phone 17 times and I guess thought that perhaps he had gotten to her. They had several groups of police searching for him. They found him and now he is screwed. How stupid. The trial is Wednesday. I think he dug his own grave. But I am afraid..for Megan, for us, as his family is crazy and I don't think this is the end of it. I feel like I am living in some surreal nightmare. I am going to court with her as she cannot be alone in this venture. The outcome might be jail time, but what happens to change his abusive behavior? Hopefully the court will mandate anger management which is what she wanted all along and it has escalated to this. I think the court will be tough on him as recently there was a local woman murdered by an abusive boyfriend who had an order of protection against him. No one should have to be abused or live in fear of another person when they finally stand up for themselves.

Well, off to bed. I have to get up early and finish a few more projects, see if there is anything else I can bring to the show to sell. I am finishing up my liquid dinner...a very hearty bloody Mary with all the right ingredients. LOL.

bottoms up..... :) patti o

Friday, December 01, 2006

Into the Maelstrom

Today was tumultuous whether is was emotion or the weather. I felt that it was a metaphor for the journey I am about to embark upon.

I woke up angry this morning. I had another dream which did not end so well. I hate when I wake up with the remants of nightmares clinging to me like the webs of a spider.

My day ended with therapy and it was a tough session. A session about sickness and helplessness and the possibility of death and loss on many levels. I did not want to hear it. I wanted to put my fingers in my ears and sing the entire time to myself. Though it is not Peg's style to project, nor mine for that matter, there were certain things that I needed to face as things at home are quite unstable and fragile. I had gone in so glib and strong, and left out frail and damp.

On the way home I witnessed a horrid storm over our city. I never saw lightning that went horizontally, ripping through the sky at a frightening pace. There were tornado warnings across the river from us. It was beautiful and scary and I felt mezmerized by its violence. I was entering the twilight zone, not knowing what awaited me on the other side.

I arrived home to a phone call from my daughter. Her ex is stalking and harassing her and the police have become involved again. She is not staying at her house tonite; the police suggested that while they look for him she get out of town with the baby. The court date is wednesday. She is sick enough without this. It brings up all the dreck from my other lifetime and it sucks.

I sat in the driveway for a while and cried. Sometimes when I look up at the stars I feel so very alone in a world that is spinning out of control. I have to remember to accept the things that I cannot change, and change what I can. I have to remember to reach out to friends when it gets too black to see things clearly and in perspective.

I am thankful that I can blog and let go here. It is cathartic putting my feelings to the "paper". It also gives my friends some perspective as to why I don't call or why I am not in the mood to talk or go out.

And lest you get the wrong idea about me---I am a very positive person who is so valiently trying to stay connected to the universe and see and accept the whys and hows of how things work. I put vast amounts of love into the world and want to connect to the spirit greater than I. The rough parts in life make us stronger and more complete, and with each step I feel I am going towards the light,the warmth, and love of the divine. It is just a tough journey getting there.

I took the photo in my yard one night. I tossed it around in photoshop a bit tonite. It still does not quite fit the image in my head, but I have to finish packing for my show, so this is a good as it gets.

Breathe deep........ p.